Do Banks Verify Pay Stubs - The Full Guide

Table Of Contents


Can A Bank Verify Pay Stubs?

Banks wouldn’t be able to sign something to affirm that your pay stub is genuine, but someone working at the bank might be able to ascertain if your pay stub that you’ve brought in is real or fake through a number of factors. There are ways to check a pay stub and notice common differences between a genuine pay stub and a falsified pay stub. 

glasses an paper

Why Might Someone Falsify A Pay Stub?

There can be many instances where a person needs to verify their salary and try to convince someone of their financial stability. Take a landlord for example. If a landlord is considering renting to someone but is wary of their prospective tenant’s ability to afford the property’s rent, they may request a pay stub. 

If a person is on a low income, they may decide to falsify their pay stub so it appears that they’re earning far more than they actually are. This is possible most pertinent when it comes to states like New York, where it is estimated that tenants might need to earn forty times more than the requested rent to qualify as a tenant! 

Also read: Why Not to Use A Fake Pay Stub Generator?

How Would You Fake A Pay Stub?

The two main ways you could fake a pay stub is by either creating it at home or by using a website that generates fake pay stubs. It’s actually not illegal to create a fake pay stub or by having a fake stub on your person - but it is an offence to try and use this fake pay stub as proof of income, in order to qualify for a loan or property. 

Some of these pay stub generating websites exist to help people like freelancers, as they don’t have receipt of a “normal” pay stub for their work. If in this example, the freelancer enters entirely correct information - there should not be any legal implications or problems by using this as proof of income, but still - a bank would not be able to verify this. 

If you were to create a false pay stub at home, you have the internet at your fingertips. It’s easy to search for templates that you can download and edit electronically. Failing that, you can easily create your own through editing software like Photoshop, if you know what you’re doing. 

How Might Somebody Check If A Pay Stub Is Fake?

There’s no QR code or anything like that for you to verify a pay stub, however you can look out for these common mistakes that are often found on fake pay stubs:

Zeros Aren’t Correct 

You may notice on a fake pay stub that the zero isn’t an actual zero, it’s an “O”! It’s a good try, but if someone looks closely, they will spot this right away. It’s highly unlikely that a genuine business or place of work will make such a ridiculous error. 

person signing

Numbers Are Rounded Up 

Due to deductions and rate of pay, it’s extremely unlikely that somebody’s pay that is shown on a pay stub will have a round number. So, if a pay stub is claiming an earning of $2,000 - you might want to think twice about its authenticity!

The Math Doesn’t Add Up 

You’ll want to check the information on a pay stub and do the math. If the year-to-date pay or the net pay is incorrect when you work it out, then maybe this pay stub isn’t genuine… or the employer has a lot of work to do! 

Also read: Understanding Pay Stub Abbreviations

There’s Missing Information 

If you check a real pay stub against a false pay stub, you might notice that there’s some key information that is missing. Expect a genuine pay stub to have things like net pay, gross pay, deductions, name, social security number and year to date pay (among other things potentially). A false pay stub might be missing some, or all, of this information. 

The Document Looks Wrong 

The pay stub might simply look wrong. The overall look of the document, the professionalism of it might have poor font, poor text and terrible formatting. 

Other than these factors, if a prospective tenant or prospective applicant for a loan refuses to provide a pay stub, or seems uneasy about their pay stubs - chances are, they are untrustworthy. Not in all circumstances of course, but it’s certainly a red flag that you’ll want to be aware of. 

Also read: What is The Importance Of Keeping Your Pay Stub?

How Else Might You Verify Your Income?

Banks are more commonly now bypassing the pay stub process as a way to verify a person’s employment status and income. They’re now opting for an e-verify process which contacts a person’s employer and can confirm or deny income and employment claims. For the self-employed, it might get a little trickier - but not impossible. It’s better to provide a copy of their tax return (specifically, schedule C). 

Other than these methods, you can try and verify your income by:

Check Your W2s: This is a genuine tax document which will report your employment and salary information. The document is difficult to falsify and if it is, can be noticed instantly. 

Employer Letter: Otherwise known as an employment verification letter, this can verify your employment and pay - if anybody questions the authenticity of the document, the employer should have their contact information included, allowing the person to contact them with questions. 

Bank And Social Security Statement: These statements can evidence how much a person has earned over time. 

IRS Form 1040: Citizens use this to file and process their yearly tax returns. 

If you’re a landlord or a lender and you’re wondering whether or not any of these provided documents are genuine and you’re still not convinced of a person’s employment - you can try and google the person’s claimed place of employment and contact them directly, or try and make a request to the person’s bank while they are with you. If they do not wish for you to verify their claims in this way, they might not be telling you the whole truth! 

person pointing to paper

If someone is telling you they do not have a pay stub and you don’t believe them, you might be surprised to know that it’s not a federal requirement for employers to provide pay stubs. The law simply falls under the rules of the Fair Labor Standards Act and anything else is up to state laws and regulations. 

It’s a legal requirement for an employer to keep an accurate record of an employee's work and pay, but it’s not required for the employee to see it! There are in fact, 9 states where it is not a requirement to provide a pay stub - although an employer might choose to. They are:

  • Alabama 

  • Arkansas 

  • Florida

  • Georgia 

  • Louisiana 

  • Mississippi

  • Ohio 

  • South Dakota 

  • Tennessee 

Also read: How Can You Tell If Someone Is Using A Counterfeit Pay Stub

Summing Up 

While a bank cannot verify your pay stub, they can likely tell the difference between a genuine and fake pay stub. If you’re looking to provide evidence of your employment and income, you should try getting something else like an employment verification letter or tax return.

Frequently Asked Questions

Other methods of income verification may include bank statements, tax returns, or a written statement from the employer, depending on the financial institution's requirements.

While it can be difficult to detect fake pay stubs, banks have developed various methods, such as using advanced software and verification services, to identify fraudulent documents.

Employers can implement strict payroll policies, use electronic pay stubs, and respond promptly to income verification requests from banks or other financial institutions to help prevent the use of false pay stubs.

Individuals should keep their pay stubs secure and only share them with trusted parties, such as when required for a loan or rental application.

Banks typically verify pay stubs through direct contact with the employer, using a third-party verification service, or by reviewing the applicant's tax records.

False pay stubs are fabricated documents that show an individual's earnings and employment, often used to deceive employers, banks, or other financial institutions.

Red flags may include inconsistencies in formatting, incorrect calculations, and unusual employer information or contact details.

Using false pay stubs can lead to denial of credit or loan applications, legal penalties, and damage to one's credit score and reputation.

Banks look for the applicant's name, employer, income, deductions, and other relevant information to assess their financial stability and ability to repay a loan or credit.

They can lead to fraudulent loans, credit approvals, and other financial transactions, causing significant losses for financial institutions and difficulties for employers in verifying employee income.
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Do Banks Verify Pay Stubs - The Full Guide
James Wilson

After graduating from McCombs School of Business in Texas, James joined ThePayStubs as a CPA to make sure the numbers we provide our clients are correct. Read More

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